Alarming growth of difficult-to-detect ‘Lemon Duck’ crypto mining botnet – Cointelegraph

Alarming growth of difficult-to-detect ‘Lemon Duck’ crypto mining botnet – Cointelegraph

Since the end of August, cybersecurity researchers have identified increased activity on a crypto mining botnet called “Lemon Duck”.

The botnet has been around since December 2018, however a big jump in activity over the past six weeks suggests that the malware has infiltrated many more machines in order to harness their resources to mine the cryptocurrency Monero.

Research carried out by Cisco’s Talos Intelligence Group, suggests that Lemon Duck infections are unlikely to have been detected by end users, however power defenders such as network administrators are likely to have picked it up.

Crypto mining malware can cause physical damage to hardware since it leaches resources by running the CPU or GPU constantly in order to carry out the mining process. This will cause an increase in power consumption and heat generation which, in severe cases, could lead to a fire.

Increase of activity caused by Lemon Duck. Source:

Windows 10 computers are targeted by the malware which exploits vulnerabilities in a number of Microsoft system services. The malware has been spread through email with a Covid-19 related subject and an infected file attached. Once the system has been infected it uses Outlook to automatically send itself to every contact in the affected user’s contacts list.

The spurious emails contain two malicious files, the first is an RTF document with the name readme.doc. This exploits a remote code execution vulnerability in Microsoft Office. The second file is called which contains a script that downloads